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Inflatable Dinghies - the good, the bad and the ugly?

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Bought a NZ-made Aquapro about 5yrs ago. Was awful with manufacturing fault from factory - twisted tubes - which meant handles and rowlocks out of alignment relative to waterline. Made for strange handling. Give them due they took it back and ‘fixed it’ which involved unsticking stuff and repositioning it relative to waterline. I had asked for a new replacement (mine was 1 week old when I noticed the flaw) but they couldn’t because they said the whole batch they had in the factory at that time had the same issue.

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Years ago we had a Southern Pacific roll up and it lasted well over a decade with no problems and most of that time it was left outside in the NZ sun. More recently we've had an Aakron which started to literally fall apart in less than 2 years, seams failing, rowlocks falling off etc. That experience meant our next one was a new larger Southern Pacific and am very happy with it. Also the SP was made just around the corner from us in Kumeu so not only are they good dinghies it's also supporting a local NZ business. 

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Yup as and when my Aquapro dies I’ll probably get a SP Shearwater. I had a look at them and they look good. Although of course my Aquapro with the dodgy start in life was made by the same people! The redeeming feature is that, as you say, they are relatively local (if you’re buying in Auckland) and you can expect better hands-on service if you need it (which I did) than buying an overseas brand.

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Yep I have a True Kit Navigator.

The main plus with the "cat" design inflatables with the paddle board type higher pressure floor is the rowing performance.

So good that I have never used the outboard since I got it.

Also the light weight as I lift it up on to the roof.

 

The down side is the ribbed protection pads under the hulls which disintegrates to the stickiest mastic type crap you can imagine.

When I suggested they use something better the guy said use the UV cover.

A pretty average response to customer feed back I thought.

So we swapped the protection for a vinyl ourselves and much better

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Look up the Wildcat model on Trademe, I have one of their 2.6m roll ups, it’s awesome. Same style as TrueKit . WildCat is Akl based , but will ship anywhere I think 

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/boats-marine/dinghies-rowboats/inflatable/auction-2408252641.htm

 

Though curiously, their website only describes a rigid polyethylene product... https://www.wildcatboats.co.nz/

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Yep I have a True Kit Navigator.

The main plus with the "cat" design inflatables with the paddle board type higher pressure floor is the rowing performance.

So good that I have never used the outboard since I got it.

 

 

Really? Conventional wisdom is that inflatables row like crap.  Encouraging if not the case with this brand as I prefer to row for fitness and less mucking around than with outboard.

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